Monday, January 31, 2005
Happy Birthday, Sunil!
Happy Birthday to my friend Sunil, born one day, and quite a few years, after yours truly. Sunil is pictured here with his boyfriend Fernando; I met them both last summer through Denis & Christian, my friends visiting from Paris who know their friends from Paris... Sunil and Fernando were on hand at my wonderful birthday party yesterday. In fact, just about every friend I have in greater New York turned out. I hope to post pictures of the party in a few days, when I resolve a few technical glitches...
Not So Hard To Swallow
Many have needlessly shied away from "Maria Full Of Grace" fearing 100 minutes alone with a difficult topic: drug mules, as the women who transport heroin from Colombia by swallowing small containers of it are called. I strongly encourage you to see it (it's out on Netflix) This movie doesn't beat you up with tragedy or hype it with melodrama, but tells an interesting story in a matter-of-fact way, and is very engaging and thought-provoking. Even more amazing: stellar acting from people with no acting experience or training, which makes it feel even more like they're living it rather than acting it.
The film's final half takes place in Jackson Heights, the South American immigrant barrio where I lived for a surprising 15 years.. For four of these years I lived was living with Andres, my South American first boyfriend. I can tell you that the network of support and connections shown in this movie are quite authentic.
Another thought: Maria longs to escape her dead-end life in Colombia, where she's stuck living with her mother and sister, earning minimally in a dreary job. It's poverty, I guess, but her standard of living is no worse than that of tens of millions of Americans, rural, urban, and suburban. It's not squalor - it's the soft poverty of limited opportunities...
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